Hear me out before you rebuff!
On New Year’s Eve I met a random guy at a pedestrian crossing. He asked me for help with his bike tire, as at the time I was at work (in an orange suit, with a bike and a big thermal backpack). He spoke to me in English, and it turned out he was a postdoc staff at the local university, who had just moved here from Chicago, Illinois.
We kept chatting but stopped after two weeks when he told me he had just bought a snail-shaped paper weight in a second hand store. It wasn’t the reason why I stopped reaching out, it’s more that at that moment I decided he wasn’t a very interesting person. Anyhow, before that happened I learnt a few things about that guy.
The main thing that threw me off was that he dabbled in stock exchange. Stock exchange. Not stock as in livestock, that’d be even weirder, but stock as in buying and selling three-letter non-physical entities. He recommended me trying it myself, as he disclosed he would earn as much as 9,000 PLN in a month. What on earth can you do with 9,000 PLN in a single month? I understand you can save it up for a big trip, like to Japan or something; but how many people happen to earn 9,000 PLN in one month?
I think about all the people who do really hard and undesirable work, and think that life must be really miserable for those who don’t enjoy their jobs and don’t get to enjoy things outside of their jobs, because they can’t afford it.
Of course, you have things like meritocracy and the survival of the fittest (or whatever today’s equivalent of ‘fit’ is), but let’s admit it – does it always work this way, that the smartest and most capable people are in the best positions in society? No.
Equally, I do not think that learning when to buy a three-letter non-physical entity and when to sell it is a skill beneficial to society. Sure, you can invest in organisations that do charitable work, like WWF or other environmental agents. But I suppose people who are in stock exchange are not in it do to that.
Stock exchange is concentrated on increasing the private monetary wealth of a single individual. It’s selfish, inconsiderate, and meaningless.
This was not meant to be a tirade on stock exchange, but that’s what it turned out to be!
I hope though that you too agree that earning 9,000 PLN is far too excessive. Better stay put and earn less than wreak even more havoc on this planet; you can’t compensate yourself for guilt.